Archive for March 2015

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide

March 30, 2015

Thriving LjL

Our newest product . . .Ivan thum1

Ivan: the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide (NONFICTION)

The packet includes Pre-Reading activities, a Pre and Post-Reading Vocabulary activity, During-Reading activities with prompts focusing on quotes and illustrations, and After-Reading activities that include ideas for extensions and differentiation. Activities are intentionally designed for students to communicate their ideas and knowledge in a variety of ways including writing, researching, illustrating, proposing, and presenting. The packet includes implementation plans, student handouts, and connections to Common Core Standards and Best Practice. Reproducible student bookmarks can be used as prompts for writing, and Ivan grouping cards can be used for forming student groups.

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorillais a nonfiction picture book that tells the real story of The One and Only Ivan.ivan2

Appropriate for Grades 3-5

  • Pre-Reading Activities
  • During-Reading Activities
  • Pre-Reading Vocabulary Activity
  • After-Reading Vocabulary Activity

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Avoid Teacher Burnout: Help a Colleague

March 30, 2015

Eight_o_clockTime is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.   Carl Sandburg

The response to help a colleague may very well be connected to time: There’s barely enough time for the things I have to do—there’s just no time to be collegial. The scarcity of time is often a systemic problem, however, some teachers seem to find that time because they know that the return is energizing. Ben Johnson’s fourth step in avoiding teacher burnout in his article, 10 Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout, is to help another teacher. He shares some excellent ways to do just that by responding to a blog or starting your own blog; mentoring another teacher; or taking an active role in your professional organization. Here’s 7 more ways to help a colleague:

  1. Share a lesson, unit, or resources for a topic with teachers who teach the same grade level or content area.
  2. Organize a grade level meeting or content area meeting to plan an end of the semester/year activity and ask everyone to bring an activity or resource to the meeting to share.
  3. Share a journal article with a summary of the article and some practical applications attached to the article.
  4. Designate a bulletin board or bookshelf in the teachers’ lounge for teachers to share resources, activities, books, lessons, etc.
  5. Follow a blog (see suggestions under Resources).
  6. Join your professional organization and share the resources from your membership.
  7. Check in with a first-year teacher in your building.  The conversation will benefit both of you.

While demands on time don’t always allow for teachers to collaborate with colleagues, when you do collaborate, the effort and end result is always worth it. My partners in Surviving to Thriving LjL have collaborated together on many projects—books, curricular materials, presentations, and workshops. For example, we are currently working on a unit and discussion/activity guide for Animal Farm. Jennifer just finished the unit. Next, I go through the unit, editing, deleting, adding, and then sending it back to Jennifer. She makes her adjustments, then it goes to Linda, who formats it expertly and uploads it to Teachers Pay Teachers. When we wrote two books on classroom management (Thriving in the High School Classroom and From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom), we sat at Linda’s dining room table and wrote as a team—that was an amazing process. Collaboration benefits all those involved in the collaboration process and often benefits students the most.

References

Johnson, Ben. (April 22, 2014).  10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Edutopia.

Blogs to Check Out

Teach Thought

Middle Web

Hack Learning

Grant Wiggins

From Surviving to Thriving

Thriving LjL

Surviving to Thriving TPT

Here’s a list of some of our collaborative work:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate

We Love Ivan

March 29, 2015

This book is a wonderful companion to The One and Only Ivan.

Thriving LjL

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new teacher resource for Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate.  (Resource coming soon I hope.) This is the nonfiction picture book followup to the novel, The One and Only Ivan . . .  which we absolutely loved. We are excited about the new picture book too!!

ivan2

In spare, powerful words and evocative illustrations, Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a mall in Tacoma, Washington, to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in…

View original post 155 more words

Avoid Teacher Burnout: Learn Something New

March 23, 2015

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.  Barbara Sher

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There is something about doing or learning something new that is invigorating. Sharing that experience with your students is another way to avoid teacher burnout according to Ben Johnson, in his article: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Johnson suggests sharing a new book you are reading with your students or learning about how the brain learns and sharing that. Here are five things to consider connected to doing and/or learning something new.

  1. Go to a large bookstore and browse through their magazines. Choose a magazine you probably would never even look at, let alone buy. Buy it and page through it; look for connections to your own life and/or work.
  2. Read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink—lots of ideas and suggestions about looking at life differently.
  3. Choose a genre of music with which you have little or no experience. Share some of this music with your students and get their opinions about it.
  4. Try a new recipe every weekend and report back to your students what you tried and whether or not you liked it.
  5. Learn to do magic tricks. Share your magical ability with your students—but no disappearance acts for you or them.

One of the things I did when I was working on a master’s degree in literacy is to share new things I learned about literacy and new learning strategies with my high school students. I would tell my students that I am trying out this new learning strategy with them and after we use it, I want their opinions about how well it worked for them. This was stumbling into magic—students took the new strategy very seriously and then shared their critiques. It was awesome!

I also discovered that students love to learn about their brains and how they learn. There are so many reliable resources online connected to the brain and learning. Recently I pinned an infographic on Movement and Learning that summarizes the benefits of movement in the classroom. As for adding more movement to your classroom, again there are many resources available including brain breaks that are fun and still serve the purpose.

As my colleagues and I create teacher materials for Teachers Pay Teachers, we always include activities that get students up and moving. Check out our store, Surviving to Thriving LjL on Teachers Pay Teachers. Here’s a list of the novels for which we have developed curriculum materials.

Movement and Learning Infographic

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

References

Johnson, Ben. (April 22, 2014).  10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Edutopia.

The One and Only Ivan Novel Study and Unit Plan

March 22, 2015

The One and Only Ivan is a charming story for both children and adults. It’s beautifully written and ideal for a read-aloud. This book and unit could be an awesome way to end the school year.

Thriving LjL

The One and Only Ivan is one of our favorite books. I’ve written about it before in Five Reasons to Read The One and Only Ivan in Your Classroom.

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Harper Collins Children’s Books

The One and Only Ivan Novel Study Unit Planivan

Overview of the Unit
The unit plan for The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, is designed to engage students. Students are provided opportunities to analyze settings, identify, describe and analyze characters and their relationships, determine emerging themes, and use text references and quotes to infer meaning. The unit employs multiple…

View original post 263 more words

Reducing Teacher Stress

March 18, 2015

Great practical ideas for reducing stress, especially as the end of the year is creeping closer. Worth your time to check out. What do you do to plan for the end of the school year and reduce stress?

From Surviving to Thriving

The end of the school year always becomes stressful. Teachers have an abundance of responsibilities that require time, effort, and planning. There are demands from administrators, parents, students, and your own family and friends. It is important to be aware of and recognize the stress teachers face daily.

Recognize stress in your life. . .

Feelings Associated with Stress:

  • Anxious
  • Scared
  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Moody

Thoughts You May Have If You Are Stressed:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Fear of Failure
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Worrying About the Future
  • Can’t Concentrate
  • Complaining About Work

Behaviors You May Show If You Are Stressed:

  • Crying
  • Grinding Your Teeth
  • Increase of a Normal Habit or Addiction
  • Losing Your Appetite or Overeating
  • Increased Heart Rate, Breathing or Sweating
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Neck and Lower Back Pain

Ways to Reduce Your Stress

  1. Become Aware of How You React In Stressful Situations.happy face
  2. Be Positive, Speak Positive, Think Positive.
  3. At the end of the…

View original post 515 more words

A New Product Blog

March 17, 2015

We are so excited about the products we create that we decided those products deserve their own blog!

From Surviving to Thriving

We published our first post on this blog July 13, 2010. Since then we have had over 39,000 views from 145 countries outside the US, and we have published 176 posts. We have shared relevant advice and resources to support teachers in their classrooms. We appreciate the positive feedback and support we have received.

Many of you know that a little over two years ago we began developing and marketing our own curriculum products in our online store on  Teachers Pay Teachers, an open market place for educators. These are high quality products based on the tenets of Best Practice and  are CCSS aligned. Reviews and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive, and we are committed to expanding our store and product line to meet the needs of committed and busy educators. We are boldly moving forward.

Currently we have two blogs. This blog, From Surviving to Thriving, maintained and…

View original post 181 more words


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